Access Denied and COM Activation failure after installing Windows July 2018 Security Updates

Recently Microsoft rolled out the July 2018 .NET Framework Security Updates. These Security Updates caused series of errors in the BizTalk Server Administration Console, SharePoint, Internet Information Server (IIS) with classic ASP and .NET applications which use impersonation.

Related to BizTalk Server, the issue is that BizTalk server relies on a COM component, that runs with restricted permissions. This COM component may fail to start after installing the July 2018 Security Updates.

For BizTalk360 to monitor the BizTalk server, it needs that the BizTalk Server Administrator components are installed in the server. But when the BizTalk360 server is also updated with the security patches, the same errors will occur while accessing the BizTalk applications and their artifacts. Many of our customers raised support tickets to BizTalk360 support channel, as they were not aware of these issues due to the windows security patch.

How the errors occur in BizTalk360 and in BizTalk Server

The com exception will occur in BizTalk360 only after the July 2018 security patch update is installed on the servers. The issue will pop up on many occasions as mentioned below.

While accessing,

  •  BizTalk360 application 
  • BizTalk Applications and their artifacts
  • Hosts and Host Instances

Following screenshot refers, how the exception appears in BizTalk360.

access denied and com activation failure in BizTalk Server

When launching BizTalk Server, a series of errors appear from Hosts and Host Instances.

Here are the errors that occurred in the BizTalk Admin console, When trying to access the host instance

access denied and com activation failure in BizTalk Server

Root Cause of the problem

Let ’s have a look at the root cause of these issues in detail. The Microsoft .NET Framework runtime uses the process token to determine whether the process is running within an elevated security context. These system calls can fail if the required process inspection permissions are not present. This causes an “access denied” error. However, these errors might reveal themselves with other error messages, as we have seen from the screen prints earlier in this article.

A temporary workaround is discussed in this MSDN thread. The simplest workaround is to uninstall the security patch and everything will be back to normal.

Resolution

The latest patch was re-released by Microsoft on July 30, 2018. This update helps to resolve this issue. This patch has different versions applicable to your operating system and .NET Framework installed.

  • 4346877Update for Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016: July 30, 2018
  • 4346406Update for .NET Framework 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1 and 4.7.2 on Windows 8.1, RT 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 (KB 4346406): July 30, 2018
  • 4346405Update for .NET Framework 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1 and 4.7.2 on Windows Server 2012 (KB 4346405): July 30, 2018
  • 4346407Update for .NET Framework 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1 and 4.7.2 on Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1 and .NET Framework 4.6 on Server 2008 SP2 (KB 4346407): July 30, 2018
  • 4346408Update for .NET Framework 4.5.2 on Windows 8.1, RT 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 (KB 4346408): July 30, 2018

For detailed information about latest patch release, please click this link. Microsoft had also suggested a workaround for the issue but with the following warning message:

Warning: The workarounds may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend these workarounds. However, we are providing this information so that you can implement the workarounds at your own discretion. Use these workarounds at your own risk.

Customer Feedback

We have received quite a few support tickets on this specific cases from our customers who have recently update the security patches. Because, the problem lies with BizTalk Server, It has affected the BizTalk360 as well while accessing the applications. We informed the customers about the reason for the error. The new patches are uninstalled, BizTalk360 and BizTalk Server will be back to normal. Here is a happy feedback from our most valued customers.

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